In 1776 a revolution in the American colonies led to the first modern democracy. This is a system of government which assumes that people have rights, and that one of these is the right to choose the government by regular, free elections. The purpose of the government is to protect the rights of the people they govern. This was the birth of the nation state. In the United States of America a federal system of government began in which power was shared between the central government and the states.
Revolution spread first to France and then through most of Europe. Nationalism, the feeling that one nation is better than all others, grew in many of the nation states. Sovereignty was taken from the king and given to the government, who held it on behalf of the people.
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